You will love this lightened-up green bean casserole, especially if you are not a fan of the creamy canned soups that are typically used to make the traditional variations of this dish. This lightened-up green bean casserole uses fresh shallots and mushrooms, sautéed and then brought together with flavorful beef broth. Instead of using canned soups, this dish is made creamy with the addition of cream cheese to the pan sauce. The sauce is poured over fresh blanched green beans, and then topped with a flavorful crispy topping made with more crispy shallots, panko breadcrumbs, and butter. One bite of this lightened-up variation, and you wont miss your old green bean casserole!
What makes this recipe lightened-up?
Since no canned creamy soups are used here (this is just a personal preference), this dish is made with real ingredients, like fresh vegetables and broth, which give it depth of flavor. The main components that are lightened up are:
- I use olive oil spray instead of olive oil, to save on calories.
- Reduced fat cream cheese is used to make the pan sauce creamy.
- Light butter is mixed with panko breadcrumbs to form a crispy topping, along with shallots, as opposed to the traditional fried onion topping.
Otherwise, this dish is packed with fresh vegetables for a hearty, comforting, and healthy side dish. The best part is, no need to wait for Thanksgiving to make this recipe. This recipe pairs perfectly with a rotisserie chicken for an easy weeknight meal for the whole family.
What will I need to make this recipe?
The key ingredients for this recipe are:
- fresh green beans
- I used two 12 ounce bags.
- Shallots are used for the sauce as well as the topping later on.
- fresh sliced white mushrooms
- all-purpose flour
- beef broth
- reduced fat cream cheese
- panko breadcrumbs
- light butter
How to make lightened-up green bean casserole
There are a few components to this recipe: the green beans, the sauce, and the topping. Although it might seem like many steps, this recipe is easy to execute! I will show you how.
Preheat the oven to 350F. First, cook the green beans by boiling them for about 5 minutes in salted water. Then drain them and set them aside for later. You can even do this step the day before to save on time.
Next, prepare the pan sauce. Add the sliced shallots and mushrooms to a frying pan sprayed with olive oil spray, and cook the vegetables over medium high heat for 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle with the flour, stir it around to coat the vegetables, and then add the broth. Stir and then simmer the sauce for 10 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese and salt and pepper.
Pour about a cup of the sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish, and then top with the cooked green beans. Top with more sauce.
To make the topping, sauté the remaining thinly sliced shallots in the same frying pan with olive oil spray over medium high heat, until they are crispy. Add the butter and panko.
Sprinkle the topping over the casserole. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil, and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the topping becomes golden brown.
Lightened-Up Green Bean Casserole
- large pot
- frying pan
- casserole dish
Sauce and Green Beans
- 24 oz green beans, fresh
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 oz reduced fat cream cheese, Used: Philadelphia 1/3 reduced fat
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- olive oil spray
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, plain, unseasoned
- 2 tbsp light butter, Used: Land 'o Lakes light butter with canola oil
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cooking the Green Beans
- Fill a large pot with water, and bring it to a boil.
- Add salt to the pot, and add the fresh green beans.
- Cook the green beans for 5 minutes, or until just tender, but not mushy.
- Drain the green beans and set them aside for later. You can also do this a day before.
Making the Sauce
- To make the sauce, slice two shallots thinly.
- Slice the white mushrooms, if not sliced already.
- Add the shallots and mushrooms to a frying pan sprayed with olive oil, over medium high heat.
- Cook the vegetables for about 10 minutes, or until tender and caramelized.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add more olive oil spray, and sprinkle the vegetables with the flour.
- Stir the flour to coat the vegetables.
- Add the beef broth to the pan, and stir with a wooden spoon.
- Simmer the liquid for 10 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.
- Stir in the cream cheese, and season with the salt and pepper.
- Add about 1 cup of the sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish.
- Pour in the cooked green beans.
- Cover with the remainder of the sauce.
Making the Topping and Baking
- Slice the remaining shallots for the topping.
- In the frying pan you used earlier, add olive oil spray and sauté the shallots for 5 minutes or until crispy.
- Stir in the butter and the panko breadcrumbs,
- Sprinkle this mixture over the casserole dish.
- Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the topping is golden
- 3 WW points per plan (blue, purple and green plans)
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